My son came over for a few days during his university’s reading week recently … and a matriciana is what he wanted when I asked him what he would like for lunch the day he was going back. As with friend Zuzi, in the Matriciana variation no. 2, I was hoping that this pasta would ‘keep him company’ all the way back to his lodgings that night.
The biggest change in this variation is the omission of wine. I have decided, and I may be wrong, that wine doesn’t ‘do’ anything for the matriciana. The matriciana is delicious BECAUSE of its unctuous content … hence what is the point of cutting the fat with the wine? I used a tomato passata (in other variations I used plum tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes and even a frozen-tomatoes sauce). I added onion. I removed the crisped up guanciale from the pan before adding the passata. And, even though it was by mistake that I had added olive oil in variation no. 3, I decided that a bit of olive oil actually adds to the dish.
All in all, as I said in the introductory post “Getting to grips with Matriciana”, this is the variation I think works best. I do like the onion, I don’t like the wine (not particularly), and removing the crisped up guanciale (or at least some of it) until the very end makes for a more pleasing ‘texture’.
A drizzle of lovely olive oil (oooo am I in trouble with the matriciana purists for this breach of recipe!). Ready. Except for the pecorino. I decided I would add the pecorino separately, on each plate.